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Question about trimming selvedge

Question about trimming selvedge

Old 05-04-2012, 06:35 AM
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Default Question about trimming selvedge

When do you trim selvedge? I usually don't do it the whole length of the fabric to start, as I use it to establish the straight of the fabric when I fold it to press and cut. I never do it before washing. When I'm going to cut strips WOF, I wait and do it after cutting them, so I'm just getting the small selvedge on the strip as I use it. But maybe others do the whole length of the fabric? If so, and you end up with small chunk of fabric to put away for later, how do you determine which way is length vs. width? Does that make sense?
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Old 05-04-2012, 07:09 AM
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Makes sense to me....I wait and take it off when I cut.... but I never use it as a straight of the fabric. I'm just lazy
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Old 05-04-2012, 07:15 AM
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I wash fabric before cutting. I usually do NOT iron it until right before I'm going to cut it. No sense in doing it twice.

Some of the selvages shrink drastically during the washing and drying process. I will clip those selvages at about two inch intervals so that they will lay flat when I iron/press the piece.

As far as determining the 'width' of the fabric versus the 'length' of the fabric:

Usually, woven fabric has more stretch across the width (crosswise grain) than along the lengthwise grain.
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Old 05-04-2012, 07:22 AM
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I cut mine as I cut the bits.
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Old 05-04-2012, 07:53 AM
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Eye opener here. I have never cut the selvedge off in one piece except to do borders. I have bad eyesight and it's not that hard to find the straight of the fabric unless it's quite dark. I now plan to cut off the selvedge FIRST before cutting strips and save my wrist some effort.

Honestly, I never worry about length or width. That is only important when sewing clothing.
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Old 05-04-2012, 08:33 AM
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I cut the selvage off my cut strips when I cut the pieces. I always leave my selvage on the main fabric piece in case I need the name to find more. It is easier to find a fabric if you can post a picture AND give the information off the selvage. Some fabrics do not show true to colour or the prints are too small for people to easier identify it.
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Old 05-04-2012, 09:21 AM
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I too usually wait until I am cutting my fabric. Then I cut off the selvage after I cut the piece(s) I want. I do not prewash my fabric.
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Old 05-04-2012, 09:27 AM
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Great, thank you all! Hey, Nana, looks as though we were born the same year.
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Old 05-04-2012, 09:41 AM
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Determining length and width can be important. I recently helped my mother do the cutting on a rather complicated pattern where triangles kind of spun out of a not quite octagonal center to form a star. Each template for the triangles clearly stated how the lengthwise grain should go. I am glad we cut it as they stated, because that pattern was extremely challenging the way it was.

Also, I like to have my borders on the lengthwise grain when possible.

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